Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dentist Day

Today was the big day for Joshua, he went this morning to have his tooth pulled.  After a long discussion with the pediatric dentist it was decided that a root canal would not be best in the long run, and the local endodontist attempted but couldn't do it.  We might have been able to go to Denver and found someone capable, but even then the long term life of the tooth was in question, so extraction was the preferred plan.

Josh was not all that nervous, which surprised me.  He knew he would be heavily sedated, not quite totally out but definitely not just a little woozy, and he was pretty calm about the whole thing although he did say he was a little scared.  He just didn't act like it.  I took him in this morning while our friend and fellow blog commenter, Lael, kindly came over to watch the other kids so I wouldn't have to worry about them while Josh was not at his best.  She did a bang up job as teacher and they love being with her.

The tooth came out and it was HUGE.  Hard to believe that tiny little mouth housed that big ol' molar!  Joshua was really, really out of it and spent the entire day on the couch fast asleep, literally 6 hours or so.  Then, half an hour before we were to leave for the TaeKwonDo belt rank test he sprang up and started crying, saying he didn't want to miss his test.  He said he was feeling a lot better after sleeping so much and begged me to let him go, so I relented and told him to go suit up.

When we arrived he began to stretch and practice his patterns with everyone else, but after about 15 minutes he began to feel very lightheaded and dizzy, and almost dropped to the floor.  We caught him and he then spent the rest of the evening in my lap, mostly asleep.  He is a tough one though, and I was proud of him for trying.  Surprisingly, he earned his blue belt even though he really couldn't participate tonight, as they base it also on class participation and what they have observed in terms of skill level there as well.  Everyone did great and advanced, Kenny broke a board again but Matthew sadly wasn't able to this time.  Josh is a high enough rank to attempt it, but 3 years too young :-)  It will be awhile before I have to get nervous over that!  Angela will be next in line, then Olesya, then Josh.  That is a lot of possible broken feet and hands to fear for! Haha! 

He was better once we got home and he ate a little something, and the remainder of the evening Josh was more his old self.  He will be sleeping in our room for the next couple of nights still, then back to his own after more than a month of bunking on our floor or crawling in our bed after a nightmare.  He has had a couple the past 3 or 4 days, but not as many as before and not as disturbing to him, thankfully.

It has definitely been "one of those weeks" and we sat down and yacked with the kids this evening, asking if I was honestly just being grumpy or if they were indeed seeing the issues I was seeing.  I told them all they could be honest, that I knew adults had bad weeks too and I was not immune from that, so I wanted their honest opinion...was Mom a Grumpy Gus this week who had unreasonable expectations, or was there really a problem.  They all quickly agreed with grins that it wasn't was kids being spacey and pre-teenish and irresponsible at moments and just plain old not being at their best. 

Matthew is totally oblivious these days, he is more like a teenager than a pre-teen, and his body is changing right along with it.  He is awkward, he is flip flopping between one minute having more adult awareness of those around him and being childlike in his inability to pick up on nuances.  Kenny is very much on a downward spiral this week, after having had a really good 2-3 weeks prior where he was showing some real signs of maturity.  These backward steps with him are expected but this time I am finding it more disappointing because I was enjoying seeing who he might really become someday and I miss that Kenny a little this week. 

Then there is little silly child who so often acts the part of the "dumb blond" with one really big problem, she isn't dumb at all.  We have had several instances this week where it was clear she was just not attacking her school work with any sort of intellectual vigor.  She IS easily distracted at times, but almost always can be reined in very easily.  I asked her point blank tonight while in our comfortable conversational zone "Why do you see yourself as stupid and why do you let yourself off the hook?" .  We had all been just yacking in a relaxed fashion about how tough this week had been when I threw this out, and she looked up at me and said "No one ever tell me at the Internat that I smart." and hung her head.  I asked her "Do you think I am smart?" and she said "Yes!", and I said "Well I struggle in math just as you do, that is only one subject and we all have trouble with something.  You think you are not smart just because you have a hard time with math...that does NOT mean you are stupid!"  then I added "I want to see you not give up on yourself, not take the easy way out and pretend you can't figure things out.  You are too smart for that." and she visibly brightened even as she gave a sheepish grin acknowledging that she knew I had hit the nail on the head. 

We all decided that Joshua and Angela were not having any real issues this week...yet...hahahaha!  I do love that we can share and talk openly like this about these things, that it is not just me bearing my frustration but that as a family we can dissect it a bit and see if we can come up with solutions or at least become more aware together.

Speaking of "awareness", I am aware that I have a sewing machine mocking me.  I bought us each a little pillow case kit from Walmart as a starter project thinking to myself "Well how hard can THAT be??"  Tonight, upon opening the package and seeing the directions, I realized that yes, even a pillowcase might be beyond my abilities.  It is absolutely ridiculous that I can read these simple directions and look at the pictures, which are decent enough, and not be able to understand it.  I mean, it is a PILLOWCASE, for goodness sake!  OK, so it has a little strip of trim, but still, this should be a cinch, right?  I am not even joking, I am not exaggerating in the slightest...Step 1 was beyond me.  You have to fold the "wrong side" of the fabric together and make a stitch of some sort the length of it and then leave space for some sort of something called a "french seam".  What in the heck is that?  I want only ENGLISH seams, darn it!  I have spent an entire year working with 2 kids and foreign languages and I am DONE with that.  Now I am going to be defeated by something called a "french seam"? 

I do have offers of help,  I will be taking folks up on it.  I will expect you not to smirk, laugh, giggle or guffaw and I do hope you know what a "french seam" is.  Now if you asked me what a Russian seam was, I might have at least been able to turn to Angela and ask. Hahaha!

If this is how bad sewing is going to be, I am terrified of the autoharp that I have placed in the spare bedroom so I won't have two inanimate objects mocking me at the same time.  One at a time is more than enough. 

Give me a computer to learn any day of the week over this artsy stuff. 

By the way, a techie friend of mine and I were sharing our iPad envy.  Kim is my techie soul sister, and we laugh over how she is my only friend in the whole world who can sit and spend hours talking about apps and web sites.  She designs web sites and does an amazing job of it, and in fact does me the greatest favor of automatically saving my blog to her business hard drive so I always have a back up.  I don't envy much in this world (well, maybe the sewing gifts of others, but I digress), but I wanna iPad in the worst way, or a generic one, just a tablet of some sort as I get tired of lugging around the laptop everywhere, trying to show the kids web pages and getting the cord tangled up or halfway dropping it as we look at videos or something.  I even wrote in to Ellen Degeneres' show as she is giving a technology gift to a school, explaining how we could totally use the gift of technology here at home, but for some reason I doubt a homeschooler will ever win something of that nature.  Those iPads though, man, aren't they COOL??  I am not a pen and paper kinda gal, I am a notes on the laptop kinda gal.  I could see hauling it to the grocery store with my list on it rather than a tablet, or downloading free books ala Kindle style, or using it to hand easily around the table as we work on our history and are looking at images from Google of hieroglyphics or butterfly cocoons.  I know it's not going to happen, but someday...someday...someday...I was thinking it would be nice if we were like one of those public schools that are now handing out iPads to every student to use.  What a totally awesome thing that would be!  But Ellen ain't callin' anytime soon :-) 

I had better get to bed, or I will be the Grumpy Gus after all tomorrow!  Thanks to all who have prayed for Josh, or sent good thoughts to the Tree Goddess :-)  I think we are over the worst of it for him.  I am sending out prayers to Elva, Dee's Mom from the Crab Chronicles blog over on my blog list.  She is in the hospital and is sorely missed by her family.  Dee's son Michael is a friend of Angela's from Petropavlovsk and his Grandma needs to get home soon where he and his sister can spoil her!  Hugs to you, Elva, from your adopted Colorado Cousins!


Joyce said...

Re: sewing
A french seam is a little beyond me having sewed for over half my life. If you ever want to sew and want a guide in real life, maybe we can do a facebook chat and do it that way. I would love to help. I so much would love to share a joy that is so close to my heart.

Anonymous said...

Having an iPad, here's my opinion about it. An iPad is fine for watching a movie or reading a book or playing games, but it is frustrating as all get-out (is that a regional expression? you know what I mean) for anything that requires actual typing. I hate hate hate that flat virtual keyboard. I much prefer my ultracompact notebook to the iPad. It has an insanely long battery life, too (7+ hrs).

Remind Olesya (and the others) they have learned an entirely new language, for pete's sake!! Do they know how much a typical American struggles with learning a 2nd language? As far as I'm concerned, that by itself qualifies them as brilliant.

Anonymous said...

A note here from the substitute teacher--when I used to do substitute teaching for a living, I found that I was often not teaching but holding space for...until the real teacher came back. That is what I had the honor of doing yesterday as Josh was having his tooth--awesomely large as it turned out--removed. I NEVER had pupils so diligent and willing to learn. They were awesome to watch buckle down and each study their own material.

I was asked by Kenny to give him some spelling tests and to look at the work he had done. I did the same for Matt. Kenny aced both of his post tests and did well on his pre-tests making sure to ask me to repronounce words he was not sure he heard correctly. Matt and I wound up in a game situation over his spelling which he almost aced once he/we settled back down. The only word he missed was one he put a wrong ending on because he was racing through the test, writing without the suffix so that I would be impressed with his speed. (I was.) Then he came back and put "less" on a word that really had "ful" as a suffix. We laughed and took a break which deteriorated into a nerf war. I am no longer cut out for teaching. I am too much like Matt, oblivious, spacey, one moment adult, the next a child. Don't know whether they learned much except that I was a pushover, but I held space for Cindy and Josh and throughly enjoyed the whole awesome experience.

Substitute teacher,

Kimberley said...

Hi Cindy,
I have been reading your blog for a while and want to first of all say thank you for sharing so frankly.
Second, I completely agree with the previous poster--my now 8 y/o (adopted last year from Ust-Kamenogorsk), tested in her first grade class this past month as "slightly below grade level". She was crushed. Her teacher was concerned. I was like "Are you people serious? CONCERNED? There are kids in her class who have heard/spoken English their WHOLE LIVES and aren't at grade level! She has never had any formal education, no English when she arrived in May, has been through trauma and neglect--to me "slightly below grade level" translates to "she is a flippin' genius!!"
All the best,
~Kim in NY

Anonymous said...

French seam? Look it up on YouTube and you will find videos to teach you how. It's just a seam that has a nice, clean finish.
Keep up the good work, mommy!

Lenore said...

I couldn't help but laugh as I read about you and your sewing projects. Laughing perhaps covers up my own discomfort with my most recent sewing project! You know that I sew on occasion....mostly Halloween costumes, where my most common mantra has always been, "It's a Halloween costume and it'll be one will see all of the mistakes!" This is NOT something a true sewer would really say!! My latest project is to sew a curtain for the bathroom doorway in the camper. Sounds easy, no? (Sound like you??) Well, it would be easy if the sewing machine would decide it wants to cooperate and work properly!!!

When sewing, the two things that frustrate me most is not being able to figure out the sewing instructions that come with patterns and/or when the machine doesn't work right and I can't figure out why!!

Once I calm down enough to stop hurling insults or objects at the machine, I will be victorious! It's a machine, after all, and I'm bigger and better than it is!

Keep this in mind, Cindy, and don't let it get the better of you! YOU can do this!!

Sending positive energy your way for a postivie outcome! Pleasae post photos here of those finished pillowcases! Just think, once done you can sleep on it!! What could be better? :)

family dentist bellevue WA said...

It's a very interesting article to read. I really enjoy reading your post on Dentist Day. Thanks for sharing it.